OAN’s Brooke Mallory
1:11 PM – Wednesday, June 7, 2023
Doug Burgum, the Republican governor of North Dakota, has announced his decision to run for president in 2024, joining a crowded list of GOP hopefuls. The two-term North Dakota governor emphasized that the American people needed new leadership ahead of the announcement ceremony in Fargo.
“We need a change in the White House. We need a new leader for a changing economy. That’s why I’m announcing my run for president today,” Burgum wrote in an op-ed in the WSJ on Tuesday evening.
Burgum, a former IT CEO and businessman, entered politics for the first time in 2016 when he began his gubernatorial campaign. In 2000, Microsoft purchased Burgum’s company, Great Plains Software, for $1.1 billion in stock.
Burgum’s presidential poll numbers are outperformed, along with the majority of the declared Republican field, by former President Donald Trump, who currently leads the pack by a significant margin.
The Republican candidates for governor’s candidacy from more politically significant states, such as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, will be competing against the North Dakota governor.
However, Burgum enters the race for the GOP presidential bid with a number of recent legislative victories that match the right-wing conservative base he hopes to win over.
He enacted a nearly complete ban on abortion in April, with the exception of the first six weeks of pregnancy. He also helped pass a number of laws that restrict certain “freedoms” of transgender people, such as one that makes it illegal to provide sex reassignment surgery for children under the age of 18.
He also signed another bill in April that prevented transgender athletes from competing with the opposite sex from what they were assigned at birth. Parents and student athletes were ecstatic about the legislation due to the fact that it is scientifically proven that biological men have an athletic and physical advantage over biological women, even if the transgender female has been taking estrogen for a number of years. Many parents were content knowing that those with a blatant advantage supported by biology would no longer jeopardize their daughters’ chances of competing fairly and receiving sports scholarships.
Burgum’s wealth could also play a role in his election campaign. The governor has made it known that he might partially self-fund his campaign, which would place him in the same group as Vivek Ramaswamy, his main rival and the only other significant candidate to disclose self-contributions.
Both underdog candidates join a lengthy list of affluent businessmen who have now transitioned to politics and who have invested personal finances in their campaigns, most of which have fallen short in recent larger elections.
It is conceivable that the GOP primary field will continue to expand as a few more Republican leaders consider their options. Tuesday saw the entry of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and on Wednesday, former Vice President Mike Pence joined Burgum in declaring his candidacy as well.
The first GOP primary debate is set for August in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, stirring tension and emotions.
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